US Airways Express. May 2012.
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US Airways Express. May 2012.

This flight took place this year, towards the end of May. My girlfriend and I were traveling from Charlotte to Jacksonville, NC, with US Airways Express. Departure from Charlotte was delayed for 2 hours with no explanation given. When we were finally taken to the plane, it turned out to be a tiny Bombardier Dash 8. I had never flown on one of these before, so this was very interesting for me.

Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 of US Airways Express

Once we were on board, we were met with a welcome sight: at the back of the plane, the ground crew had inserted a large yellow air hose into the cabin, which was pumping cool air. Later we found out that the 2-hour delay had been because the plane, after sitting out in the sun, was too hot to board.

Passenger cabin of Bombardier Dash 8 Q300

After 15 minutes, they started the engines. The cabin was filled with noise and the smell of kerosene, and my ears popped immediately. After takeoff the plane began to shake something fierce, and continued to do so for the remainder of the 50-minute flight. The flight attendant (an older lady) didn't leave her seat at any point during the journey. No food or refreshments were served.

Passenger cabin of Bombardier Dash 8 Q300

When we landed at the airport, I had something drip on me from the ceiling. I'm guessing it was condensation.

Passenger cabin of Bombardier Dash 8 Q300

The airport in Jacksonville turned out to be tiny.

The airport in Jacksonville

Here is a picture of the plane.

Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 of US Airways Express

P.S. Despite all the discomforts I described, I did like the flight. The seat was comfortable (I'm about 6' 3”). One thing of note is the difference in take-off and landing technique between the US and Europe. We've flown within the US eight times, and every time it feels like a roller coaster; up, down, it's very noticeable when the pilot decelerates after reaching cruising altitude. In Europe, pilots seem to climb and descend more gently. Perhaps US pilots are trained to do things differently.

Thank you for reading.

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Bombardier Dash 8 Q300

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